As the new head coach of the Boulder boys basketball team, Jack Clarke has the Panthers rolling with their roles just three games into the season.
But in facing some top-notch competition — and winning handily — Boulder is also dispatching doubters left and right while they are at it.
The new-look squad notched another victory on their home floor Monday night against a team that began the season ranked, beating George Washington 60-51 to move to 3-0.
After last year's run to the Class 5A Sweet 16, the 2015-16 Panthers might be even deeper on their bench. It has shown with quality wins over Ralston Valley and Grandview, too.
"We scout teams and we have their starting five on our whiteboard most of the time, but we're hoping teams scouting us have to write 10 guys," said senior Ben Posthumus, who scored 14 impressive points on 7 of 9 shooting and added six rebounds. "Everyone has new roles this year ... but we're having a lot of guys step up so far."
While the starters provided a lot of the scoring, including Landon Taliaferro's 11 points and Luke Wilson's 15, important minutes from Savoy Carl, Peter Chopra and Sam Kirk helped the Panthers keep the Patriots' highly capable offense from getting hot.
With each substitution came moments of greatness, although the Panthers finished with 22 turnovers. Defensively, no matter who was out on the court, they made it tough for George Washington to get inside, and as a result the visiting Pats (1-4) shot 42 percent overall.
"The beauty of our team is you never know who is going to step up, and it's definitely more than a one-man show," Clarke said. "We know our starters aren't playing the amount of minutes they deserve, and that is a credit to our bench."
Meanwhile, Boulder's game centered around fast cuts to the hoop, precision passing and post play — all of which was aided by an effectiveness on the offensive glass.
Boulder had a 34-11 edge in rebounds and shot 54.2 percent (19 for 35) for the game.
A big run between the second and third quarters separated the squads for good. George Washington cut the score to 19-18 late in the second, but Boulder finished out the half on a 9-0 run that included a putback from Chopra and five points from Luke Wilson.
Leading 28-18 to start the third frame, Boulder scored the first four points on inside buckets from Posthumus and Jack Boyle. Despite playing its most unkempt 8-minute span during the third, Boulder still outscored GW 15-13 and led 43-31.
Chopra finished with seven points and four rebounds.
"We were able to feed it into the post and that's something we struggled with a little bit so far," Posthumus said. "I was able to finish a little bit. Our rebounding was huge."
Boulder 60, George Washington 51
At Boulder HS
GEORGE WASHINGTON (1-4)
Jon'il Fugett 5 1-2 14, Daylen Kountz 6 1-4 14, Ronald Johnson 1 2-2 5, Brandon Williams 0 0-0 0, Abdi Ahmed 0 0-0 0, Sir Proctor 2 0-0 5, Will Tucker 0 0-1 0, Tre Pierce 0 1-2 1, Jervay Green 5 1-2 11. Totals 19 6-13 51.
Luke Wilson 2 10-11 15, Landon Taliaferro 4 2-3 11, Savoy Carl 1 0-0 3, Sam Kirk 1 1-1 3, Peter Chopra 3 1-4 7, Bill DiScipio 0 2-2 2, Henry Ryan 0 1-2 1, Jack Boyle 1 2-2 4, Ben Posthumus 7 0-0 14, Peter McNeal 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 19-25 60.
Score by quarters:George Washington 8 10 13 20 — 51
3-point field goals — George Washington (7): J. Fugett 3, Kountz 1, Johnson 1, Proctor 1, Green 1. Fouled out — Fugett.